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The Commons
Voices / Letters from readers

Artists performing on issues of inclusivity will also embrace disability issues

Originally published in The Commons issue #407 (Wednesday, May 10, 2017).

RE: “Show explores what it means to live ‘an authentic life’” [The Arts, Apr. 12]:

We thank all who attended our recent production, Voices, and made the benefit such a success.

Our goal is to keep Voices going as a concept and an ensemble, focused on using word, music, and image to convey a message of inclusiveness and authentic expression in a very difficult political time.

During the course of production, we became aware that the venue we had chosen, the Hooker-Dunham Theater, is not accessible to people with physical disabilities.

The theater itself is an aesthetic gem, and it is run on a shoestring by Jon Mack as a service to the community.

We won’t stop using it, but in the future, any production we create will also be held in another space that is physically accessible.

We plan now to do another version of Voices later this year to recognize how often the problem of physical disability and access is overlooked, and to include that voice in our ensemble.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to Eva Mondon for bringing our oversight of this very real problem to our attention, and for helping us to see that our desire to create an aesthetic which is genuinely inclusive across differences of age, race, class, gender, and sexual orientation must be wholehearted in its embrace of physical difference as well.

You can look for our next version of Voices in late summer or early fall, in a setting and with an aesthetic that will be as inclusive as we can make it.

MacLean and Shanta Lee Gander


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